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Wyatt Abroad

Wyatt Abroad: Tudor Diplomacy and the Translation of Power

William T. Rossiter
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt6wp9pt
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  • Book Info
    Wyatt Abroad
    Book Description:

    During the 1520s and 1530s Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet and diplomat, composed a number of translations and adaptations of European poetry (including the Penitential Psalms and works by Petrarch) when he was in embassy, or engaged in international negotiations.This volume presents a comparative analysis of those poems which were directly or indirectly shaped by his ambassadorial experience. By examining the key points of divergence from and adaptation of his Italian, Latin and French sources and analogues, the author identifes the specific ways in which Wyatt reformed those sources in order to comment upon the lability of Tudor diplomacy and the political machinations at home and abroad which informed it, and the personal cost to Wyatt himself. The volume also identifies Wyatt's innovations and his debts, so redressing earlier interpretations of Wyatt's work which ignored its translative ontology, and, through noting Wyatt's specific alterations and ameliorations, allowing a clearer image of Wyatt's own poetics to develop. Dr William T. Rossiter is Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern English Literature, University of East Anglia.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-357-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. NOTE ON EDITIONS USED
    (pp. ix-ix)
  6. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. x-x)
  7. Introduction: THE FIRST REFORMER?
    (pp. 1-46)

    In 1589 George Puttenham published his famous account of the Tudor makers who emerged at the court of Henry VIII:

    In the latter end of the same king’s reign there sprang up a new company of courtly makers, of whom SirThomas Wyatth’elder &HenryEarle of Surrey were the two chieftaines, who hauing trauailed into Italie, and there tasted the sweete and stately measures and stile of the Italia[n] Poesie as nouices newly crept out of the schooles ofDante AriosteandPetrarch, they greatly pollished our rude & homely maner of vulgar Poesie, from that it had bene before,...

  8. Chapter 1 ‘SOVENDRA DU CHASEUR’: WYATT IN FRANCE, FRENCH AT THE ENGLISH COURT
    (pp. 47-89)

    In 1532 the French poet Maurice Scéve, inspired by Petrarch’s scattered rhymes, went in search of Laura, and apparently found her, in a tomb in Avignon. The skeletal remains of Laura de Sade, Petrarch’s allegedinnamorata, were accompanied in the tomb by a dubious sonnet which could be deciphered by Scéve alone due to its age – Laura, as Petrarch records, having died in 1348.¹ The King of France, Francis I, was so taken by this discovery that he re-enacted the exhumation shortly afterwards, opening the tomb and reading the sonnet himself, an obvious testament to the king’s own humanist...

  9. Chapter 2 ‘MY GALY CHARGED’: WYATT IN ITALY
    (pp. 90-122)

    Wyatt’s ambassadorial visit to the Italian peninsula came hot on the heels of his experience at the court of Francis I in 1526. In January 1527 Wyatt accompanied Sir John Russell to the papal court. According to George Wyatt’s now famous anecdote, recorded a century after the event, Wyatt met Russell on the Thames, and asked him, ‘Quo vadis?’ Russell replied:

    ‘To Italy, sent by the King.’ ‘And I’, said Sir Thomas, ‘will, if you please, ask leave, get money, and go with you.’ ‘No man more welcome,’ answered the ambassador. So this accordingly done they passed in post together.¹...

  10. Chapter 3 ‘SO FEBLE IS THE THREDE’: WYATT IN SPAYNE
    (pp. 123-151)

    Less than a year after his release from prison following the execution of Anne Boleyn and her alleged lovers – those bloody days which broke his heart – Wyatt was appointed ambassador to the Imperial court of Charles V in March 1537.¹ According to Edmund Bonner (Archdeacon of Leicester, later Bishop of London) and Simon Heynes (Dean of Exeter), who accused Wyatt of communicating with Cardinal Pole and wishing the king’s death in 1541, Wyatt had responded to his outrageous fortune by saying ‘Goddes bloud, the kinge sett me in the tower and afterward sent me for his embassadoure. Was...

  11. Chapter 4 ‘INWARD SION’: WYATT IN JERUSALEM – THE PENITENTIAL PSALMS AND SOTERIOLOGICAL DIPLOMACY
    (pp. 152-197)

    What has Wyatt’s translation of the Penitential Psalms to do with his diplomatic experience? The two most frequently proposed dates for the sequence – during or immediately following his imprisonment in 1536 or during his imprisonment in 1541, datings which extrapolate the theme of David’s self-imposed incarceration which recurs throughout Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130 and 143 – bookend the Imperial embassy.¹ Wyatt could not have known that he would be sent on embassy so soon after his sojourn in the Tower following the downfall of Anne Boleyn, as he himself was alleged to have admitted:

    theie [Bonner...

  12. Conclusion: ‘IN KENT AND CHRISTENDOME’: WYATT IN ENGLAND
    (pp. 198-224)

    The focus of this study has been Wyatt’s translations and their diverse points of correspondence with his service to Henry VIII in the major European centres of power. Wyatt’s translations themselves are equally diverse, ontologically speaking, as we have seen. For example, Wyatt’s translation of the French poetic tradition is characterized by thematic equivalence and the use of analogues as points of departure. Wyatt’s translations of Petrarch are frequently predicated upon the pre-existing late medieval model of triadic translation, wherein the new work is born of the confluence of theauctour-text and its commentary. This triangulation is developed into a...

  13. Glossary of Rhetorical and Literary Terms
    (pp. 225-228)
  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 229-240)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 241-246)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 247-247)